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Thomas Nadelhoffer
College of Charleston
  1. Surveying Freedom: Folk Intuitions About Free Will and Moral Responsibility.Eddy Nahmias, Stephen Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Jason Turner - 2005 - Philosophical Psychology 18 (5):561-584.
    Philosophers working in the nascent field of ‘experimental philosophy’ have begun using methods borrowed from psychology to collect data about folk intuitions concerning debates ranging from action theory to ethics to epistemology. In this paper we present the results of our attempts to apply this approach to the free will debate, in which philosophers on opposing sides claim that their view best accounts for and accords with folk intuitions. After discussing the motivation for such research, we describe our methodology of (...)
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  2. Is Incompatibilism Intuitive?Jason Turner, Eddy Nahmias, Stephen Morris & Thomas Nadelhoffer - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):28-53.
    Incompatibilists believe free will is impossible if determinism is true, and they often claim that this view is supported by ordinary intuitions. We challenge the claim that incompatibilism is intuitive to most laypersons and discuss the significance of this challenge to the free will debate. After explaining why incompatibilists should want their view to accord with pre theoretical intuitions. we suggest that determining whether incompatibilism is infact intuitive calls for empirical testing. We then present the results of our studies, which (...)
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  3. The Free Will Inventory: Measuring Beliefs About Agency and Responsibility.Thomas Nadelhoffer, Jason Shepard, Eddy Nahmias, Chandra Sripada & Lisa Thomson Ross - 2014 - Consciousness and Cognition 25:27-41.
    In this paper, we present the results of the construction and validation of a new psychometric tool for measuring beliefs about free will and related concepts: The Free Will Inventory (FWI). In its final form, FWI is a 29-item instrument with two parts. Part 1 consists of three 5-item subscales designed to measure strength of belief in free will, determinism, and dualism. Part 2 consists of a series of fourteen statements designed to further explore the complex network of people’s associated (...)
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  4. The Past and Future of Experimental Philosophy.Thomas Nadelhoffer & Eddy Nahmias - 2007 - Philosophical Explorations 10 (2):123 – 149.
    Experimental philosophy is the name for a recent movement whose participants use the methods of experimental psychology to probe the way people think about philosophical issues and then examine how the results of such studies bear on traditional philosophical debates. Given both the breadth of the research being carried out by experimental philosophers and the controversial nature of some of their central methodological assumptions, it is of no surprise that their work has recently come under attack. In this paper we (...)
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  5.  35
    Does Encouraging a Belief in Determinism Increase Cheating? Reconsidering the Value of Believing in Free Will.Thomas Nadelhoffer, Jason Shepard, Damien L. Crone, Jim A. C. Everett, Brian D. Earp & Neil Levy - 2020 - Cognition 203:104342.
    A key source of support for the view that challenging people’s beliefs about free will may undermine moral behavior is two classic studies by Vohs and Schooler (2008). These authors reported that exposure to certain prompts suggesting that free will is an illusion increased cheating behavior. In the present paper, we report several attempts to replicate this influential and widely cited work. Over a series of five studies (sample sizes of N = 162, N = 283, N = 268, N (...)
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  6.  32
    Natural Compatibilism, Indeterminism, and Intrusive Metaphysics.Thomas Nadelhoffer, David Rose, Wesley Buckwalter & Shaun Nichols - forthcoming - Cognitive Science.
    The claim that common sense regards free will and moral responsibility as compatible with determinism has played a central role in both analytic and experimental philosophy. In this paper, we show that evidence in favor of this “natural compatibilism” is undermined by the role that indeterministic metaphysical views play in how people construe deterministic scenarios. To demonstrate this, we re-examine two classic studies that have been used to support natural compatibilism. We find that although people give apparently compatibilist responses, this (...)
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  7. The Phenomenology of Free Will.Eddy Nahmias, Stephen G. Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Jason Turner - 2004 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (7-8):162-179.
    Philosophers often suggest that their theories of free will are supported by our phenomenology. Just as their theories conflict, their descriptions of the phenomenology of free will often conflict as well. We suggest that this should motivate an effort to study the phenomenology of free will in a more systematic way that goes beyond merely the introspective reports of the philosophers themselves. After presenting three disputes about the phenomenology of free will, we survey the (limited) psychological research on the experiences (...)
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  8.  22
    Folk Intuitions and the Conditional Ability to Do Otherwise.Thomas Nadelhoffer, Siyuan Yin & Rose Graves - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    In a series of pre-registered studies, we explored (a) the difference between people’s intuitions about indeterministic scenarios and their intuitions about deterministic scenarios, (b) the difference between people’s intuitions about indeterministic scenarios and their intuitions about neurodeterministic scenarios (that is, scenarios where the determinism is described at the neurological level), (c) the difference between people’s intuitions about neutral scenarios (e.g., walking a dog in the park) and their intuitions about negatively valenced scenarios (e.g., murdering a stranger), and (d) the difference (...)
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  9.  22
    Partisanship, Humility, and Epistemic Polarization.Thomas Nadelhoffer, Rose Graves, Gus Skorburg, Mark Leary & Walter Sinnott Armstrong - forthcoming - In Michael Lynch & Alessandra Tanesini (eds.), Arrogance and Polarization (. pp. 175-192.
    Much of the literature from political psychology has focused on the negative traits that are positively associated with affective polarization—e.g., animus, arrogance, distrust, hostility, and outrage. Not as much attention has been focused on the positive traits that might be negatively associated with polarization. For instance, given that people who are intellectually humble display greater openness and less hostility towards conflicting viewpoints (Krumrei-Mancuso & Rouse, 2016; Hopkin et al., 2014; Porter & Schumann, 2018), one might reasonably expect them to be (...)
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  10. Polling as Pedagogy: Experimental Philosophy as a Valuable Tool for Teaching Philosophy.Thomas Nadelhoffer & Eddy Nahmias - 2008 - Teaching Philosophy 31 (1):39-58.
    First, we briefly familiarize the reader with the emerging field of “experimental philosophy,” in which philosophers use empirical methods, rather than armchair speculation, to ascertain laypersons’ intuitions about philosophical issues. Second, we discuss how the surveys used by experimental philosophers can serve as valuable pedagogical tools for teaching philosophy—independently of whether one believes surveying laypersons is an illuminating approach to doing philosophy. Giving students surveys that contain questions and thought experiments from philosophical debates gets them to actively engage with the (...)
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